Amazingness - An Exhibition About Urban Nature
What is Amazingness? According to photographer and environmentalist Anna Hillman it is the tiniest unexpected nuggets of nature that can be found in our urban environment when we chose to open our eyes to them. The concept of 'Amazingness' has been featured on these pages before with Hillman's Goldsmith's Design graduation project of the same name. Three years on and we find the Amazingness project still evolving in London's Viewfinder Photography Gallery. This exhibition combines new work by Hillman, all shot in London three weeks before the opening, with photos of 'Amazingness' that people have sent into her from around the world and images taken by children in a series of workshops that the artist has led.CollaborationDuring the exhibition Anna Hillman has continued working with children, from 8-13 years old, with a couple of workshops called 'Photography: Discover your Urban Wonderland' and has even asked visitors to her show to participate with their own work. She says "I think the participation aspect of the exhibition is really interesting and people seem to really like it, and it's really important to me in terms of the whole amazingness project... Also there are hidden photos in the exhibition to find - which make it look like there are little plants growing out of the inside of the actual building etc. And there is a map which shows where the photos were taken so you can go and look for them and check on the progress of the little plants for example"
Spreading AmazingnessHillman would like visitors to take their participatory efforts into their own neighbourhoods and offers each person a little packet of wildflower seeds as they leave the exhibition which they can sprinkle in the cracks of walls and pavements on their way home.
Beauty is in the DetailsWe find Anna Hillman's work so inspiring because it encourages everyone to open their eyes and see beauty even in the most delapedated of urban environments. There is a message in here for all environmentalists. While the bigger picture maybe be depressing and rather overwhelming there is always positivity and beauty in the details.
Amazingness - Viewfinder Photography Gallery Linear House, Peyton Place, London, SE10 8RSThrough 6th July 2008